ORIGIN AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIALSTUDIES: THE CASE OF NIGERIA.
BISINA AUGUSTINE -REG. NO: UBN036904/08
M. Sc (Ed) SOCIAL STUDIES (FULL TIME)2008/2009 SESSIONCOURSE CODE: EPC 829 – HISTORICAL AND THEORETICALFOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL STUDIES
The origin of social studies assumes a duality among scholars who bare their mindon the development of the subject. While scholars such as Ezegbe (1987) andUdoh (1989) are of the school of thought that ascribe the origin of social studies tothe United States of America (Mazieobi & Domike n.d). Another school of thoughtheaded by Saxe, an astute American professor of social studies noted that thefoundation of social studies education had its beginning in Great Britain after 1820s and quickly spread to the United States (Ibid). Osakwe and Itedjere (1993)gave credence to the former school of thought when they categorically stated thatthe concept of social studies was first developed in the United States of Americaand later, the subject find its way into Europe, with particular reference to Britain.
ORIGIN OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN NIGERIA
The wind of controversy over the origin of social studies in U.S.A and Britain didnot end abruptly as it also finds its way into Nigeria during the importation of thesubject. Iyamu and Onyesom (n.d) are of the view that there would seem to be noagreement among social studies scholars on the origin of the subject in Nigeria.Whiles so many scholars are of the view that the subject founds its way into theAfrican continent and Nigeria via America and Britain, Mazieobi (1992) argued
that it is axiomatic only to the extent that the concept social studies was borrowedand that the content of social studies in Nigeria is Nigerian and has been an integral part of the Nigerian indigenous curriculum right from the earliest times except for certain modifications to accommodate societal dynamics and international prescriptions.
There is also a school of thought that believes that the establishment of schools bythe Christian Missions in Nigeria beginning from 1859 and the accompanyingintroduction of the discrete subjects such as history, geography, civics, economics,government and religion marked the formal introduction of social studies into Nigeria’s school curricula. This parent disciplines skewed school of thought is of the view that the formal introduction of social studies in Nigerian classrooms dated back to the pre-independence days of colonial rule. Obebe (1987) reinforced theview that social studies made its first appearance in the Nigerian school curriculumin pre-independence days in the canopy of general knowledge, general studies or civic education.
Before 1960 a similar subject to social studies under a differenttitle has been taught in the schools, the title then varied from region to region suchas general knowledge, general studies and civics (Mazieobi n.d,).Adewuya (2010) is of the view that the term social studies as a school subject in Nigeria was first used in 1958 by educators of the Ohio University Project whichsought to introduce its teaching into teachers’ college in the former western region.
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